Simple words of wisdom from Youth Specialties to keep in mind durring that first encounter with a student.
It doesn’t matter if you are a youth pastor, small group leader, sunday school teacher, or you work in the snack bar, first encounters with students can be difficult. Here are 10 tips to make it easier:
1. Say hello!
Don’t be shy! Take the initiative to introduce yourself. Although their body language may be showing otherwise, students want a warm welcome!
2. Understand the context
Let your surroundings and circumstances dictate how to begin the conversation. For instance, if you’re meeting at a food place, talk about what’s good to eat, at a movie theater, what movie to see, etc.
3. Pay attention
You’ll learn a lot about people from their body language and the words and phrases they use. Listen and watch carefully.
4. Pay attention, part 2
Your own body language will determine how willing and interested you are to actually have a conversation. Be authentic. Students know whether you are genuinely interested or not.
5. Let’em shine!
Encourage students to talk about themselves by asking about their interests, tattoos, jewelry, bad breath, etc.
6. Be careful
Trust takes time. And while you want to get the person talking, be careful not to get too personal too fast. Be patient.
- Chris Davis
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